A crowd of about 45 attendees gathered Dec. 7 at Mount Sequoyah Center for a screening of the 2019 TEDxWomen conference, which took place Dec. 4-6 in Palm Springs, California.
At the annual conference, 43 activists – 42 of them female – from all over the world spoke about different topics related to the social inequality of women under the theme “bold and brilliant.”
Emily Potter, who has attended three TEDxFayetteville events, has always loved watching TED Talks while in college and thinks “they can change the world,” she said.
“This is a chance to experience something that might expand your mind and change your perspective on things,” Potter said.
Potter’s favorite talk from this event was performer, author and storyteller Joel Leon’s take on co-parenting and its importance to child development.
At the TEDxWomen conference, Jennifer Gunter, a gynecologist and New York Times columnist, spoke about stigmas concerning period products and the menstrual cycle.
Lisa Mosconi, a neuroscientist and author, discussed the development of the brain as women age and go through menopause, stressing that this natural process might take a physical toll on women’s bodies, but it does not affect a woman’s mental capabilities to be a leader.
Rayma Suprami, a speaker at the TEDxWomen conference, is a Venezuelan cartoonist criticized by the Mexican newspaper, El Universal, for mocking former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez through her politically driven drawings. Suprami talked about how she used her skills to speak against those who tried to shut her down. She emphasized that it is important to take a stand against what is not right in order to change the world.
Sami Kinnison, a UA alumna and legal coordinator at the Walton Family Foundation, planned this year’s TEDxFayettevilleWomen event. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication in 2016, Kinnison applied for a license, made budgets, searched for venues and started managing TEDx events part-time in Fayetteville.
Kinnison coordinated the 2017 TEDxDicksonStreet and the 2018 TEDxFayetteville, which were independently organized TED events for the Fayetteville public.
Sierra Hayes, a TEDx volunteer who helped organize the event, recently started working with Kinnison because she thinks that TED Talks are important, Hayes said.
“TED is all about sharing ideas worth sharing, and I think that has a lot of power behind it. Hayes said. “If we don’t talk about stuff, we like to pretend it didn’t happen or it's not true and nothing gets resolved.”
Kinnison’s main goal for organizing TEDx events in Fayetteville was to create a platform for presenting ideas, she said.
“Whether ideas end up on the stage or not, everybody has an idea worth sharing,” Kinnison said. “So, why not highlight our community and bring our people together to share those thoughts.”
Kinnison hopes to expand on the project and invite speakers to perform live, she said. Her goal is to host three events throughout the year, including TEDxFayetteville, TEDxFayettevilleWomen and TEDxFayettevilleLive.
“TED Talks create a perspective shift,” Kinnison said. “You might think about something in a way that you’ve never thought of before.”